Build it … and they will show

David Roberts is an art-world oxymoron: a property developer who collects art and almost never sells, a businessman worth more than £80m who doesn’t see art as an asset class. As one of Britain’s most significant contemporary art collectors and founder of the charitable David Roberts Arts Foundation (DRAF), Roberts is a major presence on the international art scene, but he is quite unlike the 21st-century breed of High Net-Worth Individuals who stalk the aisles ofFrieze art fair or Art Basel Miami Beach, snapping up brand art and berating helpful gallery assistants. (“I don’t care if the artist is black or lesbian, the back story doesn’t interest me,” I heard a man shout at a young gallerista during last year’s Frieze.)


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